A few months ago I purchased a 1995 Volkswagen Jetta. It’s not much to look at. It is dark green with a torn bumper, various dents and dings in the body, and the side strips have fallen off. The inside is not much better. There are burn holes in the upholstery, it has a coating of cigarette smoke staining the light colored interior and the driver seat is crooked. The craziest part is that I absolutely love this car!
When I bought this Jetta, it wasn’t because of a true need. In fact, I already had a Ford Explorer that runs well. This Jetta was priced so low it felt like I was stealing it. I couldn’t haggle for a lower price, it was more like throw the money and run before the seller realizes her mistake. When my mom saw the car, she gave that pinched half-smile as if to say, “you’re really driving that piece of crap?”
I purchased this car (sight unseen, by the way) because I needed something better on gas for my eighty-mile daily commute and because it had only 36,000 miles on it. Turns out that my attachment to this car is because of the freedom that it makes possible. Several years ago I had the misfortune to trust the wrong man. He was very deceiving. Before I realized my mistake we were two years into a marriage. Times were good during those first two years. We each purchased nice cars for ourselves and were able to rent our dream home. When he left me I was trying to hold on to this house and take care of my kids. I could no longer afford the car payment and two days past Christmas, had to watch my car drive away with the repo-man behind the wheel. I had never in my life felt so powerless and humiliated. And, stranded! Stranded in this shell of my former life with no way to get away from it.
Since that unfortunate day, things have improved. This little Jetta represents that to me. I will never be stranded again because I now have two cars. If one breaks I just drive the other. And, I felt so accomplished because I was able to pay for the car in cash. No begging for a loan, no struggling to make payments. No fear of losing it to the bank! My life isn’t perfect and neither is this little car. But it will be my reliable little partner while I navigate these roads to come.